Monday, 23 November 2015

Back to Blog

I’ve attempted this blogging thing several times over the past few years and I’ve often found an initial flurry of ideas before suddenly there’s an abrupt, almost permanent drought. The difficulty for me is, although ruthlessly opinionated and sometimes controversial in my views, I am incredibly aware of the power of the internet and how committing myself to an idea online could be tantamount to signing my own death warrant. The other thing, despite ruthless opinions etc. is I’m also very open to new ideas. It’s great to have an idea set in stone, but if you’re not open to other opinions and ideas you’re liable to become very stagnant very quickly. And life’s too short to be stuck in the mud.

Twelve years ago I would have happily waved the flag screaming “meat is murder.” Now, bacon sandwich in hand, I’m still an active follower of animal rights but I have a wider understanding of how one can do that while tucking into Bernard (FYI I ethically source all of my meat – hence Bernard – and in doing so can actively help good farming standards in the UK). My opinion modified and will hopefully continue to do so, encouraging me to widen my horizons beyond the here and now.

That’s just one example and I’m the first to admit that me today is likely to be different to me on Friday and hopefully will be very different to me in five years’ time. So committing ones thoughts down so openly and without the benefit of hindsight is a bit scary. After all I’m a writer, I don’t publish a sentence without meticulous checking and editing… and even then I often don’t go back and read it in case it is wrong.

But blogging is in real time. It’s happening now and perhaps what I say today will no longer be relevant tomorrow. Does that mean it shouldn’t be said? Should we all just keep quiet until we’re lying on our death beds and are finally ready to pass on a lifetime of knowledge? Of course not… or at least not all of us should.

I like to think of thoughts and opinions like language. For me language is like a river bed, existing in a landscape for centuries, but ever changing under the surrounding environment. A lot of people tend to moan at the introduction of new nouns or verbs as though at some point we reached an epistle perfection and that was it. Full stop. (Excuse the pun). Selfie, lol, twerking… odd that those are the ones that immediately speak to mind but they highlight how our language morphs to fit our current lifestyle, and so should our thoughts and opinions. You may not like selfies, but they still exist as a concept and it’s a damn sight easier than referring to them as taking a picture of oneself all the time. Lol.

So the idea of blogging is very much like studying language, or anthropology. It’s a caption in history, immediately accessible by everyone – something which is a concept we take massively for granted nowadays. In fact, thinking about the whole evolution of opinion, a hundred years ago for me to present a piece of writing to you I would need to grow a pretty dapper mustache to be even considered worthy of an opinion. Actually coming from a working class Northern background, the likelihood would be that I wouldn’t even have the skills to write my opinion down anyway and obviously my mustache would be wasted!

As exposing and nerve wracking the concept of blogging may be, it’s still a very interesting possibility for humanity and especially for me as a writer. A possibility (you see my deliberate non-committal choice of words) that I will endeavor to try again. Of course we could fast forward to November 2016 and find that I gave it up after three months and went to pursue an interest in tapestry. But that’s the fun of it isn’t it? We don’t know where it will lead us or how we will evolve. Interesting to find out though.